Oh my GOODNESS!  And I do mean GOODNESS.  I made my annual Irish meal for the St. Patrick's holiday.  This year it fell on a Saturday so I decided to make it a Sunday Supper the following day, since that is our reward day and carbs are allowed!  So I went SOOOOO cabacious!!  The meal started with appetizers.  Sweet LAWD!  Home made pretzels, beer cheese dip, cream cheese dip, and creamy mustard dip.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Next we had a shamrock salad - with REAL SHAMROCKS!  It also had almonds, crunchy celery, Swiss cheese, and was tossed in a home made white wine vinegar-vinaigrette.  Main was pulled home made corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, side of from-skrizzatch Irish soda bread (soft, wonderful, and AMAZING slathered with Irish butter!), and for dessert - grasshopper pie, minus the grasshoppers!  

Though I outdid myself - if I do say so myself, and I DO - my kitchen looked like a tornado had blown through it the next morning.  But ask me if it was worth the clean up.  GO on, ASK ME!  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!

Below, I have the recipe for the Irish soda bread.  So easy you will want to make it way more often than just for March!  Slainte! ('to your good health")


4 cups flour

4 tbs  sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, super-softened

1 cup buttermilk (I make my own!  See notes below!)

1 egg


1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in the one cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round of sorts and place on prepared baking sheet (see notes). In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush the top of your round loaf with a little of the buttermilk / butter mixture. Use a very sharp knife to cut an "x"; into the top of the loaf round.  Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, brushing the loaf with the buttermilk / butter mixture every fifteen minutes or so until it's gone.

NOTES:  To make my own buttermilk, I pour two tablespoons of white vinegar into a measuring cup and pour milk over it until it reaches remaining one cup.  Need more?  for each cup of milk you add two more tablespoons of vinegar.  Let sit at least 20 minutes.  It's so easy and you don't have to buy buttermilk and then wonder what to do with what's left over!




I wanted to dedicate this particular Sunday Supper to my March Madness and all things Irish-and-green month.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy The Hubster was that we brought a little gastro-pub into the house!  I made Guinness-battered fish and chips with a side of slaw and Guinness beer bread with honey butter, a Pot O'Gold cocktails, and Guinness sticky pudding cake.  (Starting to see a theme here?)  

Let me just tell you how easy the fish-part of the fish and chips was:  EEEEEEE-Z!  I have included the recipe for you below.  Take a few minutes to cook this up - it is worth it times a thousand!!


4 cups high-heat oil for frying, like canola

6 - 8 white fish filets (I use cod)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs white pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbs garlic powder

2 tbs paprika

1 egg, beaten

12 oz Guinness

Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer (I use my cast-iron Dutch oven, of course!) to 370-375 degrees. Rinse your fish, and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season both sides with sea salt and pepper.  Combine flour, and other seasonings.  Stir egg into dry ingredients, and then gradually mix in beer until a thin batter is formed. You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped.  Dip fish fillets into the batter, then drop one at a time into hot oil. Fry until brown on the bottom side, then flip once until brown on the opposite side.  Drain on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath.  Serve with seasoned potato wedges and cole-slaw for an authentic gastro pub feel.

NOTES:   I use organic canola oil, but any high-heat oil will do.  It helps to sprinkle a little sea salt on the filets once they come out of the oil.  A little malt vinegar on top doesn't hurt, either.  Oh, my Guinness!!  (See what I did just there?)